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“Pity about the lack of a lounge” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

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Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland (Vironniemi)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 66 hotels in Helsinki
Leatherhead, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Pity about the lack of a lounge”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

The quirky features of the Katajanokka leave its guests in no doubt that the building was a prison until 2007.The mid-building iron staircases could have been the set for HMP Slade, of TV's Porridge fame and the windows in our subterranean room offered views of the sky and tips of nearby rooftops. But it was spacious and comfortable (apart from hard pillows) and very peaceful. We didn't dine at the hotel but if dinner's as good as the breakfast, perhaps we should have done.
The quiet location, on.a peninsula jutting out into the main bay (unfortunately not visible from the hotel), is just a 10 minute stroll to the city, and the tram outside the gates will get you anywhere.
Charming and helpful staff, with immaculate English.
My only complaint is the lack of a lounge/bar area. (There is a pokey little area off reception called as such, but there's no bar and 4 or 5 armchairs!). The absence of a guest seating area was particularly galling when, on a lovely sunny day, guests were denied access to the garden and its bar (the only public areas) because of a private function.
a welcome folder in the room listing services, meal times, etc, wouldn't have gone amiss either. Those niggles aside we enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Pluses:
Good location if you like the quite places
Very attractive neighborhood
Interesting building – former prison
Efficient and helpful front desk attendants
Great breakfast
Good beds
Very clean room and bathroom
Convenient parking

Minuses:
No A/C
Very bad dinner recommendation given by front desk attendant
Bit distant from the center – about 10 minutes’ walk through very interesting and save neighborhood

Room Tip: Make sure to reserve a parking space in advance Double check restaurants recommend by front desk
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We really enjoyed this hotel. It is architecturally interesting because it is an old prison with some old cells still on display. The staff continue the theme with prison type clothing and the option of tin mugs and plates if you want without out going at all overboard or being tacky.

Front desk staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The hotel is an easy walk to town.
Rooms themselves were decorated in a modern and attractive style. Breakfast was good.

Due to the thickness of the walls, which is good for noise control, there was one issue. The Wi Fi is difficult to access in rooms but there is in room cable. Unfortunately for us, the cable is only available for PC's. As my husband and I both use Macs, we had to sit in public areas for internet use which is a definite minus.
Overall though, a very good hotel and a bit different to the run of the mill.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Hotel was a former prison and this theme is maintained throughout, form the decor though to the dress of the staff. Excellent service and very helpful staff. Location means that it is very quiet, but still only a 10/15 minute walk from the town centre (tram also runs right outside).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Paris
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

This is an eerily unusual place, opened in 2007 in what used to be a prison until 2002. It is quite comfortable, located at about 10-15 minutes from the centre. Food is not that great though. The rooms are spacious and quiet. It feels very safe...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

My wife and I booked this hotel based on the tripadvisor reviews and the unique nature of this hotel property. We were somewhat disappointed due to the fact that the rooms, although a good size by European standards and very nicely appointed. However, the bathrooms and particularly the toilet bowl and shower stall could use a good cleaning. We also had some trouble receiving phone calls with the handset in our room, but the staff at the front desk did their best to rectify the situation.

I'm sure a lot of travelers choose Best Western because of the familiarity and the expectation of the quality of a Best Western Premiere Hotel and this location was somewhat disappointing. This was our only concern (I didn't have to use the wifi) as the staff were friendly and very helpful and the location of the hotel is within a 10 - 15 minute walk of the city center.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pipsa K, Director of Sales at Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Dear MarkD1952,
thanks for your feedback. The cleanliness is a point of honor to us so we’d a serious deliberation with our housekeepers. I’m very sorry about what happened. Hope you enjoyed your visit in Helsinki.
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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I had very high expectations of this hotel, based on the reviews here, and overall we were rather disappointed. This is by no means a budget hotel, but it represented the worst value of any place we stayed during a 2 week trip through southern Finland & northern Estonia. While the initial checkin process went smoothly, everything after that point was rather disappointing. We were assigned a room in the basement, where the windows were all well above eye level. The room was horribly cramped. There were three of us in the group, and once the sleeper couch was opened, there was little more than a narrow path to walk from one side of the room to the other. The wifi flat out didn't work at all in the room due to the very thick (prison) walls. Any time we wanted to use the wifi, we had to sit out in the hallway. We ate at the hotel restaurant for dinner the first night, and the food & service were absolutely horrible (not to mention expensive, even by Helsinki standards). Our server seemed to forget that we existed, and we had to flag him down after waiting more than 30 minutes for our food to arrive. The food was disgusting, and seemed as if it was reheated. My wife ordered a latte, and for reasons that remain a mystery, was served in a drinking glass (rather than the more traditional cup).

While certainly not their fault, the location is far from ideal. The neighbourhood is mostly residential on one side, and large warehouses on the other. There are a few restaurants in walking distance, but not many.

Helsinki has many hotels, and this one isn't worth revisiting.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pipsa K, Director of Sales at Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Dear Netllama,
thank you for your feedback. We’ll pay attention to all the points you wrote about. The location and wifi are the most problematic ones to fix because of the history of the house: as a former prison, the hotel has very thick walls which affects on the wifi - what’s why we have cables to borrow at the reception.

The prison was once founded on the thinly populated Katajanokka which is nowadays one of the most liked neighborhoods in Helsinki city center.
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Additional Information about Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

Also Known As:
Best Western Helsinki
Helsinki Best Western
Address: Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland
Location: Finland > Southern Finland > Helsinki > Vironniemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Luxury Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Business Hotel in Helsinki
#7 Family Hotel in Helsinki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka 4*
Reservation Options:
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